Dennis Quaid plays a crusty, rummy old salt forced to help kids win a cash-prize fishiny tourney so that they can save their orphanage in “Blue Miracle,” a “true” tale of Cabo San Lucas.
Cute? Certainly. Cloying? Sometimes. I mean, come on. Orphans.
Faith-based? Kind of. A little boy has taken the advice that he should nail his prayers above a door if he wants them to come true. You know what that means.
But stars Jimmy Gonzalez, Quaid and others give fair value and director Julio Quintana (“The Vessel”) manages a mystical moment or two and a sentimental moment or three. And it finishes really well. Really well.
So it may not be a prize-winner, but it’s not exactly chum, either.
Gonzales, finding a sweet variation of his “Mayans M.C.” TV biker thug, plays a guy who has rechanneled a wayward youth, married and runs a private orphanage in Cabo. Wife Becca (Fernanda Urrejola) helps “Papa Omar” preside over the unruly boys of Casa Hogar (“House Home?”)
But the bank is knocking at the door, a hurricane floods the place and they’re in the hole. A lot.
The annual Bisbee’s Black and Blue Fishing Tourney could be their salvation. But only after the wily director of the tourney (Bruce McGill) enters them to get past-winner and drunken, half-broke has-been Capt. Wade off his back about “waiving the entry fee.” Team Casa Hogar it is.
Wade to Papa Omar — “You and your three least annoying orphans” should show up, board his battered boat, “Knot Enough,” at dawn. And away we go.
The kids are a collection of “types” with names to match. Hollywood, Wiki (the smart one) and the new guy, the thief, the one who calls himself “Moco” (“booger”) are Casa Hogar’s last hope.
Complications? Wade has a sad, obsessed past. Omar has issues with being at sea, with fishing with a father figure. He has nightmares about just that. And the kids? What’re the chances any of them can swim?
There’s a lot of sass, back-talk and wisecracking, none of it all that funny. But they all really want to win this thing for Tweety (Steve Gutierrez), who took Omar’s suggestion about writing down prayers and nailing them above the doorway so literally that he’s sure they’re going to boat the biggest marlin of them all.
A single decent twist and a pleasant lump-in-the-throat finale are what you get for your time, here. Not much, but not a lot of family friendly movies do better. And not bad for a movie about a rich man’s “trophy fish” sport. Let’s hope they didn’t waste any blue marlins making this.
MPA Rating: TV-14
Cast: Jimmy Gonzales, Dennis Quaid, Fernanda Urrejola, Miguel Angel Garcia, Nathan Arenas, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson and Bruce McGill.
Credits: Directed by Julio Quintana, script by Chris Dowling, Julio Quintana. A Netflix release.
Running time: 1:35